A smartphone device for monitoring sensation loss in patients with diabetes has been nominated for three awards at the Institute of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards. The device, developed by Bournemouth University, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital Trust enables patients to self-monitor their symptoms and wirelessly transmit their results to their consultants.
Over time, people with diabetes can develop nerve damage, caused by prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels. Sensation loss needs to be monitored by medical professionals to try and limit further damage. The severity of the nerve damage will dictate the frequency of hospital visits, but it can be as often as monthly which is quite time intensive for both patient and consultant.
The device, created by Dr Venky Dubey and his Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Neil Vaughan, involved the development of a smartphone app and a 3D probe fitted to the phone. The 3D probe is designed to vibrate, according to the intensity set by the app, which helps to analyse the levels of sensation loss in a patient. This data, along with basic details such as weight and height, are recorded by the app and can be transmitted to a GP or consultant who can monitor the need for further treatment or check-ups. As well as being a considerable time saver for both patients and medical professionals, the device also helps to give patients more control over their care.
Commenting on the nomination, Dr Dubey said, “I’m very pleased that our device has been nominated for three awards as it recognises the hard work that went into the project and its potential to make a difference to patient care. Looking to the future, we hope to run clinical trials to test the device and gain patient feedback so that we are able to improve it further before its commercial potential is realised.”
The smartphone app and 3D probe have been nominated for three awards at the Institute of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards. The categories the team have been nominated for are communication, healthcare technologies and measurement in action. The awards ceremony will be held on 18th November in London.